Riffing on Patti Smith

Just Kids” brought the early years back to me, when I discovered Patti Smith, back when the Armadillo, the Austin Opry House, Club Foot, Liberty Lunch brought in The Talking Heads, Echo and the Bunnymen, Devo, The Clash, Willie Dixon, Grace Jones, young enough to ride the wave, own the city – mi vida loca.  Those years were full of light and shadow, music, art, poetry, rage, love and wisdom. Now I watch the fire’s flame, time winding through my thoughts in a spiral, bringing me  to a forgotten stairway in my mind.

The journey, taken alone, with friends and lovers, into the penumbral landscape  of the unconscious, dreaming life into being.  The realm of the poet, who trusts the power of the word to re-cognize that which is so strangely familiar.  The surrealist visionary composer playing piano on the easel of your mind’s eye can tell you which way is up, down, all around. Taking refuge in the hub stops the spinning wheel from tearing the veil from mystery’s dark eyes, rimmed with light, keeping the world in balance.  The passion for justice, serving up a slice of the pie to the soul standing on the corner begging for some small act of kindness from a stranger.

Like Ghandi waiting for the world to awaken. The dark hours before the dawn hold treasures for those who are listening.  Hearing the silence shaping sound and vision, creating space in time, cresting like a wave into consciousness. Horses running in from all directions, with their nose in flames.

Riding down Congress Avenue in the summer heat on my bike -my horse- weaving through traffic to go for a cool plunge into the icy waters of Barton Springs. Tribal dancing, fence shaking at Auditorium Shores with Stevie Ray Vaughn‘s guitar voodoo, once in a lifetime with Talking Heads at Fiesta Shores

Art claimed me as it did Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith. Working at Dixie’s Bar and Bus Stop, Amdur Gallery, Cafe Brasil, dancing at night, traveling cross country
with a black dog and a yellow cat, painting, writing, loving and riding, a leaner me in a smaller town.  The stories came freely, traded with bands of gypsies, the empress and the fool loving on the razor’s edge that cut so deep. Like a moth, I gave myself to the flame. It consumed, it resurrected it cast long shadows and shed light in my dark places. I rose many times from this pyre, shedding words like feathers from my blackened body, sharing the light still dawning in my heart. And in moments of loving union, in the moment of leaving this world for the next, I say hello and goodbye to this sweet dream.

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